But then, I step back. Wait a second. In the words of admiral Akbar, " It's a trap!" I've walked into a trap again; one that seemed so true, but really it was a wolf in sheep's clothing, a lie disguised as warm fuzzies. Giving-up and self-pity and complaining appeared to be the easy way out, or at least the only way to cope. But behind the appearances is a rotten sham, seeming to comfort in the short term, but corrupting and sapping all goodness in the long run!
So what is the alternative? When I step back and look at the big picture, I imagine a camera zooming away from me, up to the sky and further and further up into space. I fade from a dot to a speck to nothing in the scheme of the world, or the solar system, or the cosmos!
noun, plural cos·mos, cos·mos·es for 2, 4.
the world or universe regarded as an orderly, harmonious system.
a complete, orderly, harmonious system.
I realize that while I get caught up in my own miseries, self provoked or otherwise, there is a masterful, miraculous harmonious system going on around me. Every atom, every molecule, every
cell, every organism, every ecosystem, every galaxy, is moving to a rhythm, like a choreographed
dance. It's organized. Deliberate. Beautiful. Mind-blowing! But before I get off on a tangent about "cosmic dancing," that starts to sound a little new age, let me get to the point. The best part of all this is that all this motion comes from the one who made it move in the first place. There is a all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful God that knows the ins and outs of every piece of this huge puzzle. In other words, He's got it under control! This whole mental exercise of viewing myself from outer space helps me to remember that God is the boss. I don't see the full, unbiased picture of reality. But He does! Remembering that reminds me I need to surrender my childish pride, my over-complicated mind games, and to just simplify: all I need to do is put Him first and trust Him. Just as everything in the universe is designed to act in a certain way, we were designed be loved by God and to love and trust Him back. Period. Accepting our humble place is so freeing and fulfilling!
"To be near God is my happiness, to place my hope in God the Lord." - Ps 72
All this reflection is what has stood out to in my prayer time, bi-weekly adoration and discussions with friends over the last few months. All we really need to worry about is placing God first, being open to Him and being willing. It is a constant battle to seek Him first, but through that everything else begins to fall in place and it is what gives us the persevere and patience to keep going our daily lives.
This March 4th, which happens to be Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), the day before lent, I am inspired to keep marching forth! (Pun completely intended!) I can't believe lent is already here. But the timing couldn't be more right. After weeks of slipping into bad habits, including: eating way too much junk food, staying up way to late, getting grumpy over work, slacking off with prayer; it is time to refocus. Today's readings provided a nice little formula for getting back on track this lent:
"Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace the Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed." - 1 Peter 1